Running Start for School

Running Start for School

Helping Students Succeed

Running Start for School is a community-wide backpack and school supply drive to ensure every child in need is prepared to succeed in school. When students have the tools they need to succeed, they score better on tests, increase their attendance, and are more likely to graduate on time. This year over 8,400 students in Olmsted County may need our help with getting a backpack and school supplies for the 2016-2017 school year. Get involved by donating, hosting a collection, volunteering, and encouraging others to help our children and youth reach their potential in school and the community.

Our collection runs from June 1 to July 29, 2016.


There are three easy ways to make a donation to help students succeed.

  • Purchase needed school supplies while you're shopping in our community and drop them off at United Way or one of our many collection partners.
  • Give a monetary donation online (Please include "Running Start for School" in the contribution note) or by mailing a check to United Way of Olmsted County, 903 West Center Street, Suite 100, Rochester, MN 55902
  • NEW – Visit our online store and make a purchase. All of these supplies will be mailed to United Way for Running Start for School.

Become a Collection Partner

Running Start for School Collection Partner

You can help students succeed by being a collection partner! United Way is happy to provide your business, organization, or group a collection bin for you to collect backpacks and school supplies.


We need over 400 volunteers!


Our champions, including Y-105 and Townsquare Media and all of our collection partners help make Running Start for School a successful collection by giving back to the community. Check out our 2015 CHAMPIONS!

How to Receive Free School Supplies

To receive free school supplies, your family must be eligible for free or reduced lunch. Click here for more information about free school supplies and how to find out.

NEW – School supplies will be distributed by individual school districts this year. Click here to find out more about your school district's distribution.

Contact Information

Kris Brewer